The London 2012 Games will be the first Olympics and Paralympics to take place after the widespread adoption of Twitter and Facebook. VisitBritain has decided to checkÂ the pulse of conversations on these social networks by using aÂ social media monitoring enterprise tool fromÂ Visible Technologies.
British tourism officials will use Visible’s Intelligence V-IQ platform, a Web-based dashboard, to measure brand mentions and sentiment during the 2012 Games.
Attitudes toward “brand Britain” in different parts of the world will be derived from the tool’s “sentiment location technology,” which will average out the typical sentiments expressed online by country and, sometimes, city.
The tool can estimate any social-media userâ€™s influence, similar to a Klout score, based on factors such as how many of their top peers are connected to them and how much travel-related digital activity they drive across platforms.
Dozens of vendors offer listening tools, analyticsÂ applications for customer sentimentÂ (i.e., “what are people saying online about my brand?”) and socialÂ network analysis (i.e., “who said it, who are they saying it to, and are these people influential?”).
Other companies in the field are Saleforce.com‘sÂ Radian6, Converseon,Â Lithium, SocMetrics, Alterian’s SM2, and Nielsen Buzzmetrics. Visible and Radian6 wereÂ both recognized as “leaders in social media listening” by Forrester Research.
Interestingly, VisitBritain looked past a half-dozen players in the UK and Europe to choose an American company based in Bellevue, Wash. Visible is also not the lowest cost option on the market, given that it has an enterprise scale.
Visible started in 2003 and has raised more than $50 million in ventureÂ funding since then.Â Last spring, it snapped up other rivalÂ Cymfony.
Visible touts theÂ topic discovery capability of its tool, which enables an organization to dig up relevant conversational topics of which it might not be aware and wouldn’t otherwise know to search for. Visible also promotes the effectiveness of its tools for sifting the noise from what’s worth reviewing.
In the US, Twitter has entered into a paid arrangement with television network NBC Â to create an event page streaming the flow of conversation. Twitter hopes this is the year it figures out how to turn social media into a profit center.
N.B. Image courtesy of Jeffery Turner (respres)/Flickr/Creative Commons